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Keys to effective internal communication

01 Jun, 2020 Internal communication

This article was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated in 2020.

With so many digital tools now available to communicators, we are tempted to constantly seek new ways to communicate better internally.  UK internal communication expert Liam FitzPatrick recently said in the PR Conversations blog to stop looking for the new or the quick fix and work harder on the basics to make an impact with employees: “Nothing clever; just basic skills like writing, planning, project managing and listening.” And the ability to act as an advisor.


He said internal communicators help organizations use communication to get results:

  1. Their communications make people want to stay with their employer.
  2. They show people what they should be doing.
  3. Internal communication helps employees to collaborate.
  4. Employee communication gives staff the facts they can use outside as well as inside the office.
  5. Finally, they work to excite them around the need and direction of organizational change.

“Simple skills and experience should be used to do it—there is no book of runes, no silver bullet and no magic fairy dust….This doesn’t mean you can’t use initiatives involving technology; it just means you should ensure the initiative is going to be more effective if you use that technology,” said FitzPatrick.

“If corporations want motivated, focused and flexible staff, they need:

  • to have a clear message
  • deep audience understanding
  • communicative managers
  • channels that work; and
  • opportunities for employees to get involved.

“The fundamental questions for internal communicators might be:

  • Does it help me reach someone better?
  • Will it help us to listen better to employees?
  • Does it actually work?”

“Overall, we need to:

  • Understand how our organization works
  • Add in a touch of creativity
  • Demonstrate an interest in people and how they think.”

About the author Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison loves sharing actionable ideas and information about professional communication and business management. He has wide experience as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer, and CEO of a non-profit organization. Kim is a Fellow and former national board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and he ran his State’s professional development program for 7 years, helping many practitioners to strengthen their communication skills. People from 115 countries benefit from the practical knowledge shared in his monthly newsletter and in the eBooks available from cuttingedgepr.com.

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